Soul Stream

Don Patterson

131 posts in this topic

O.K., Time to give Don some god damn props! Maybe the best organist ever in many ways. Although there's really no "best" in music, Don certainly has intrigued me since Day 1. My first exposure to his playing was through a copy of "The Exciting New Organ Of" LP I stumbled across in a used bin. Up until that point, the only organists I had heard were alot of Jimmy Smith, McDuff and McGriff. Well, Don blew my mind the moment I put the needle to the vinyl. And it's still blown. Along with Patton, Don is surely my favorite of the organists.

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Don is the MAN! Another giant we lost too soon. He's really not on enough recordings, either. Have you got the Muse dates? Those are killer!

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I used to not dig the Muse dates as much. However, as of the last 6 months or so I've really grown to like them a lot. Especially some the of stuff that wasn't really reissued on the "Steady Comin' At Ya" CD compilation,(even though I liked that a lot as well). What am I saying....I don't know! I like it all I guess. I'm partial to the early stuff just because it's what I stumbled onto first I guess. Plus, the recording techniques were better on the earlier stuff. I used to hate the slow speed sound, but dig it now too. What's your favorite DP album B3-er?

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Man, my favorite Don Patterson? That's a hard one. Like you, I love the Prestige stuff. If I had to choose, I would say "The Exciting New Organ of Don Patterson". Just because it contains his version of The Good Life which is the best organ version of that tune ever.

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Agreed. :D Have you heard Bill Heid's new CD. Ed Swinnich sent me one, and I liked his Patterson-style cut a lot. He's really got that down. Now if I could just steal his brain. ;)

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Hey guys --

Have you heard "Goin' Down Home" on Cadet? Smokin' versions of "John Brown's Body" and "Work Song"!

I once read (can't remember where) that the 'generally accepted' knock on DP was that he couldn't/didn't play the pedals too well. The, ahem, person who wrote this surely had never heard this album!

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I read that knock on AMG as well. What a load. He played the hell out of the pedals. Even if you don't have the ears for it, in John Simon's CD (Patterson's last recording) he mentions how Don was the only organist he ever played with the played the foot and hand simultaneously. Like Lonnie Smith if you've ever seen him play. That AMG guy is an idiot.

Goin Down Home is bad. One of my favs..... :D

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Soul Stream,

The foot/hand technique is the defacto standard for organists. Those that don't use it probably never had anyone show it to them. I was in the dark until my mentor, Doug Decker, showed me the light.

All the old school cats use it: It's the Jimmy Smith School of Pedal Playing. McGriff, Holmes, DP, McDuff. Larry Young didn't use much pedals in his later stuff, but he does in the earlier stuff.

The AMG cat that said Don doesn't use pedals has no idea what he's talking about. Patterson was bad mofo on the pedals.

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Yeah, that idea that they didn't use pedals. What a crock. I've seen a lot of the major organists still around. Mel Rhyne didn't touch the pedals hardly. Lonnie used them more than any other I've seen. Jimmy, some put mostly accents. McGriff more than Jimmy. And McDuff seemed to be in the middle somewhere. j

John Patton showed me how to play pedals. He had a great touch on them and had a nice feel for accenting without being to heavy. Some guys get a little TOO Pedally for me. In the end, pedals are very important. How much they are used seems an individual taste. Mel Rhyne didn't play them the night I saw him and he sounded great bass-wise. I've seen Joey use them a lot and on one night hardly touch them. But to say Patterson couldn't play the pedals is nuts. The legendary guys could all play the hell out of them. Any full-time jazz organist can play pedals.

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How about "Boppin' and Burnin'"?

With a lineup like this - Howard McGhee, Charles McPherson, Pat Martino, Billy James - what's NOT to like?

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Don Patterson is among my top five favourite organists. Never heard a bad recording of his. I always found him the closest to Horace Silver of all organists, especially as a composer. I think he inspired Sonny Stitt to some of his best playing.

B-3er, what do you think of the take on The Good Life on the Muse LP with Richie Cole?

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This question of how bass is produced from a Hammond player seems to be a hot subject as far back in 1965.

In those times, it was taken for granted bass was played with the foot pedals, while chords came from the left hand and the main voice from the right... I started watching closely the few players that performed in Brussels and Paris and realized there were several ways to go...Actually, the left hand seemed to take the major part in the bass lines, with some rockbottom notes played on the pedals.

To quote Jim Anderson in one of his audio threads :"Whatever it takes, provided the results are OK..."I agree with that view, being just a listener who does not play the Hammond...I can tell whenever I like the bass playing, be it from the lower keyboard or from the pedals, and indeed, Don Patterson is among my favourites, with Mc Duff and McGriff.

I remember a small talk I had after a set with Lou Bennett : he was extremely good with the pedals and somewhat upset by other players who were 'cheatin' with the bass (no names mentioned of course..).He pretended he would practise even harder to master totally his pedal playing and be able to play a Conn organ.I asked what instrument that was and the answer was : you cannot cheat the bass with a Conn, you have to use your feet...Half an hour later, he went back on stage a played Round Midnight with an extended pedals solo just to show his words..., very, very impressive.

What are your views, Soulstream and B3er about bass lines in modern Hammond playing? Where would you place Larry Goldings in that perspective..?Thanks for your ideas

I

Edited by michel devos

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The "cheating" thing can be taken many ways. I'm not sure what Lou was talking about, but when most organists who play pedals talk of cheating they are referring to cats who just stomp one pedal (usually the Bb) at the front of every note in a walkin' bass line.

The Jimmy Smith way is to actually shadow the bass line that you are playing in your left hand with your left foot. You tap the pedal just slightly ahead of the key you're hitting with your left hand and that adds an attack to the front of the note and simulates an acoustic bass. It helps the bass lines cut through more, since the Hammond bass doesn't have many overtones and can get very muddy in some situations.

You can achieve the same effect by "cheating" and just tapping one pedal... to an extent. If you're shadowing the left hand it's easier to lay into the pedals more for those nice accents.

Larry Goldings is a fine organist. I like all his records and I really like his basslines on that Brecker record. He's playing some very very different bass lines than other organists. I've seen video footage of him using the "one pedal tap" method. And then I've seen him not use the pedals at all except for various accents. I don't mind that. He's admitted he's not much of a pedal player. Although he seems to be using them more and more on his records.

I think it's a shame that the Soulive organist doesn't use them, as they can really help a funk bass line. I think he's even gone so far as to abandon the Hammond bass and play some sort of synth module. Whatever floats your boat. His left hand is amazing. If he got together with Chester Thompson and learned the bass pedals, he'd be an absolute monster.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but to my ears it doesn't sound like Larry Young used pedals that much. It sounds to me like he used mainly just the left hand.

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I've only heard Patterson with Sonny Stitt, but I do enjoy the albums I have with the two of them. Any specific recommendations for Patterson led discs?

What do the organ fans think of young Sam Yahel? I'm a big fan of his. Have all of the albums released under his name (all three), plus the Yaya3 disc, and several sideman dates (Ralph Bowen, Joshua Redman, etc.) A major talent!

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Yahel is a great organist. He's been using more pedals lately, too. When I first heard him, I thought to myself, "Is this Larry Goldings under a pseudonym?" but he's since grown into his own.

He's the main reason I like the Yaya3 record and Redman's newest. Brian Blade would be the second reason and Redman the third. ;)

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Well, as written earlier, I really dig "Goin' Down Home". "Opus De Don" and "Oh Happy Day" are two other strong albums, IMHO, and these can be found on the Prestige two-fer "Dem New York Dues".

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Don Patterson is like the Randy Johnson of the b3 world.I respectfully disagree with the AMG guy.

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Any thoughts on the RETURN OF DON PETERSON album (that's how I have it) w/Eddie Daniels (still sucking Joe Henderson's jimmy, but doing it in such a self-respecting way), Ted Dunbar, & Freddie Waits?

For me, it's worth it to me for "Love Story" alone,

And what's up w/Don Schlitten & that tune anyway? Cedar did a trio version of it on BREAKTHROUGH. It's a better tune than whoever had the hit on it (Mancini?) cared to reveal, but it's not THAT good. One has to wonder, one does...

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I LOVE that record, even though it's sloppy in some places. I love the first tune, "Jesse Jackson"! They muck the head up something awful, but it's got such a cool vibe! And then there's the cover of the theme from The Odd Couple! What a great tune to solo over! I played along to that just the other night and had a blast!

I'm getting that Boss Tenors in Orbit disc from BMG. I can't wait to hear Don, Sonny Stitt and Gene Ammons together! WHOO HOO!

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As far as I remember Don doesn't solo too much on it; please correct me if I'm wrong. This was, btw, the first recording session of the Don Patterson/Paul Weeden/Billy James Trio, followed shortly by sessions for Roost (now on the Stitt Mosaic box), Jazzland, and the screwed up Stitt/Gordon for Blue Note.

I like all the Muse sessions, recently got the CD on 32Jazz with Jimmy Heath, like it much better now than the first time around when I bought the LP. The fourth Muse "Why Not" is nice, I always have a cassette of it in the car, with a nice Horace Silver vibe in the heads.

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I'm not concerned if he doesn't solo on it much. He accompanied people very well. And he swings his nuts off! :)

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I like Boss Tenors alright. Paul Weeden kind of kills it for me. It's very, very, very early Patterson...so he's at his most Jimmy Smithness. It's a nice outing. So many other of the Stitt/Patterson Prestige recordings dwarf it if you haven't got all those first.

I love the Patterson Muse stuff. Right on B3-er, The Odd Couple is bad... :D

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For anybody interested, here is a link to Paul Weeden's webpage. Seems like it was he who founded the trio. Any other info on this?

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I seem to remember reading somewhere that it was indeed Weeden's trio. Nice to know he's still around. It would be interesting to talk to him.

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For anybody interested, here is a link to Paul Weeden's webpage. Seems like it was he who founded the trio. Any other info on this?

Thanks for posting this, there is a link at the bottom of the page to an english translation of Weeden interviews including his memories of Shirley Scott (basically it sounds like Lockjaw was a bastard to her while they were married) and also Weeden's recollections of the ill-fated Dexter/Sonny Stitt Blue Note session.

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